March 31, 2008
The Air Force volleyball wrapped up its Italian spring break training trip. Due to several scheduling conflicts, the Falcons didn't play many of the teams on their original itinerary. Three of the Falcons four losses came at the hands of the defending junior national champions and a B1 professional team.
MARCH 21: AIR FORCE VS. GERMANY
Air Force opened the trip with a 3-0 victory over a German team in Pordenone, Italy. (Detailed results are not available for this match).
MARCH 22: AIR FORCE AT CROATIA
The Falcons journeyed to Pula, Croatia, for a match with the defending Croatian youth national champions. Despite winning the first set by a 25-22 margin, the Falcons watched as the Croatian team took consecutive 25-15, 25-14, 25-23 sets, before winning the fifth game by a 15-11 margin. Freshman Nichole Stilwell led the Falcons with 11 kills, while classmate Caroline Kurtz accounted for eight. Sophomores Michelle Harrington and Katie Batchelder contributed five kills apiece. Harrington also earned a solo block, while Stillwell and junior Kristina Stewart teamed up for a pair of assisted stops. Kurtz added a pair of service aces, while Stewart and freshman Stephanie Stanford each recorded one.
MARCH 25: AIR FORCE AT TRIESTE
MARCH 26: AIR FORCE AT MODICA
Air Force traveled to Trieste, Italy, and suffered a 3-1 loss to the local club. After falling 25-12 in the first set, the Falcons rallied for a 25-20 victory in the second. Trieste took the next two games by 25-14 and 25-19 marks. Junior Jasamine Pettie accounted for a team-leading seven kills during the four-game match, while Harrington and Stilwell tallied five each. Batchelder, who added four kills during the outing, added three service aces, during a 6-0 Air Force run in the second game. Stilwell and Pettie each earned a solo block, while Kurtz and Harrington teamed up for an assisted stop.
The Falcons left northern Italy for Sicily, where they played Modica, a local professional B1-level team. Air Force book-ended a 25-13 loss with narrow 25-23 defeats. Although the outcome was already decided, the two teams played a fourth set and the Falcons pulled out a 25-20 victory. Stillwell paced the Falcons with 10 kills, while Batchelder and Kurtz accounted for eight and five, respectively. Serving and blocking were the keys during the outing, as five Falcons earned aces and five earned at least a share of a block. Batchelder served up four aces, while Pettie, Stanford and junior Ellen Bina
added two apiece. Harrington posted three solo blocks, while teaming up with Kurtz and Batchelder for three assisted stops. Stillwell tallied two solo and two assisted blocks (with Batchelder and freshman Julia Hansen